August 3, 2006
Silence of the Lambs
Silence of the Lambs before the slaughter… we now see the silencing of writers online.
The Star Online 1 Aug Says: “Zam: Some control on Net media needed”
“We need to have a similar form of control over Internet media and blogs, as the medium is used to spread unfounded allegations that pose a threat to national security and racial unity,” he added. Zainuddin said he supported Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow’s statement that there should be some form of control over sensitive issues to protect national security. He said some websites and blogs had touched on Islam and Malay rights, which threatened harmony in multi-racial Malaysia. If left uncontrolled, the medium could be used as a tool to disturb the peace and stability in the country. “It is not our intention to curb freedom of speech. It is all right to present views but it is not acceptable if the content is instigative in nature,” he added. “We have come across cases and stories that are posted based on hearsay. Some of the comments and arguments are baseless,” he noted. Zainuddin said the Government had no intention of jailing those who write about racial issues in blogs. “We will not stop bloggers and Internet media operators from expressing their views, as long as the views are presented in an ethical manner,” he added.
And today’s news on The Star (2nd Aug 2006 issue), the front page reminded bloggers just that. The Prime Minister has issued a warning – those who spread untruths and slander on the Internet will face the law. If information in blogs, websites and online portals were incorrect, bordered on slander, caused disturbance or compelled the public to lose faith in the nation’s economic policies, their authors would be detained for investigation, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.